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Bellelettres Profile
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Re: Coronavirus


White House, Senate reach deal on massive $2 trillion coronavirus spending bill

March 24, 2020

WASHINGTON — The White House and Senate leaders reached an agreement early Wednesday on a massive $2 trillion coronavirus spending bill aimed at alleviating the economic impact of the outbreak.

"At last, we have a deal. After days of intense discussions, the Senate has reached a bipartisan agreement on a historic relief package for this pandemic," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced from the Senate floor shortly before 2 a.m. Wednesday. "In effect, this is a wartime level of investment for our nation."

McConnell said he expected the Senate to pass the legislation later Wednesday after it returns at noon ET. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told reporters that President Donald Trump would "absolutely" sign it if Congress passes it.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on the Senate floor early Wednesday: "We have a bipartisan agreement on the largest rescue package in American history. This is not a moment of celebration but one of necessity."

"Like all compromises, this bill is far from perfect, but we believe the legislation has been improved significantly to warrant its quick consideration and passage, and because many Democrats and Republicans were willing to do the serious and hard work, the bill is much better off than where it started," he added.

In a letter to the Senate Democratic caucus, Schumer said that his members are ready to give unanimous consent to speed up consideration of the measure.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has not weighed in on the final deal yet but signaled in multiple TV interviews Tuesday that she supported a number of provisions that she knew were folded into the legislation.

Although the full text of the bill is not yet known, lawmakers indicated Tuesday that it would include the initial GOP proposal for direct cash payments to Americans.

Under the plan, people making up to $75,000 a year are expected to receive checks for $1,200. Couples making up to $150,000 would receive $2,400, with an additional $500 per child. The new agreement removed the phased-in provision that would have excluded lower-income Americans from receiving the full benefit.

The payments would decrease for those making more than $75,000, with an income cap of $99,000 per individual or $198,000 for couples.

The bill is also expected to include roughly $100 billion in assistance for hospitals; $350 billion in assistance to small businesses; $500 billion in aid for corporations, including airline companies and cruise lines, that have been hurt by the outbreak; and about $150 billion for state and local stimulus funds.

Unemployment insurance would also be significantly bolstered for four months by increasing payments and extending the benefit to those who typically do not qualify, such as gig economy workers, furloughed employees and freelancers. Specifically, the bill would increase the maximum unemployment benefit that a state gives to a person by $600 per week and according to Schumer, "ensures that laid-off workers, on average, will receive their full pay for four months."

The agreement also would prohibit businesses controlled by Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, members of Congress and heads of executive departments from receiving loans or investments from Treasury programs.

https://tinyurl.com/qmkmuas
3/25/2020, 10:06 am Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
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Re: Coronavirus


Prince Charles tests positive for novel coronavirus

By Emma Reynolds, Max Foster and David Wilkinson, CNN

Updated 10:35 AM ET, Wed March 25, 2020


London (CNN) -- Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth II's son and the heir to the British throne, has tested positive for coronavirus and is now self-isolating in Scotland, his office announced Wednesday.

The Prince of Wales is only displaying mild symptoms and is otherwise in good health, Clarence House said in a statement. It is not known how the 71-year-old caught the virus because of his busy schedule of public events recently.
The Queen, 93, remains in "good health" and is "following all the appropriate advice with regard to her welfare," a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said Wednesday.

The monarch last saw Prince Charles briefly after an investiture ceremony for public awards at the palace in London on March 12. Charles has been advised he was contagious from March 13, a royal source told CNN.

Following his last public event on March 12, Prince Charles has had a number of private meetings with individuals, all of whom have been made aware of the situation.

"It is not possible to ascertain from whom the Prince caught the virus owing to the high number of engagements he carried out in his public role during recent weeks," Clarence House said.

Charles was tested on Monday and got results on Tuesday, the source said. He is self-isolating at his Scottish residence of Birkhall in Aberdeenshire, on the Queen's Balmoral estate, with a small number of staff keeping separate from him, the source added. His wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, is self-isolating separately. She has been tested and does not have the virus, according to the statement from Clarence House.

More at: https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/25/europe/prince-charles-coronavirus-gbr-intl/index.html

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3/25/2020, 11:34 am Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
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Re: Coronavirus


Jackson Browne, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, has coronavirus at 71

By Angie Martoccio, Rolling Stone | March 25, 2020 | 8:24am | Updated

Jackson Browne was suspicious that something was not right when he started feeling ill in recent weeks. “As soon as I had a small cough and a temperature, I tested [for COVID-19],” he says. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee tells Rolling Stone that he has tested positive for the coronavirus and is recuperating at his Los Angeles home. “My symptoms are really pretty mild, so I don’t require any kind of medication and certainly not hospitalization or anything like that,” he adds.

The 71-year-old musician isn’t sure where he got it, but he suspects his recent trip to New York for the annual Love Rocks NYC benefit, which also featured Cyndi Lauper, Dave Matthews, Warren Haynes, Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, may have been the source. “So many people that have it aren’t going to be tested,” he says. “They don’t have symptoms, but they might have it and might be able to pass it on. That’s what younger readers need to understand: They need to take part in the global response to stop the spread. That means not going anywhere, not getting into contact with anybody, not seeing anybody.”

Much more at: https://nypost.com/2020/03/25/jackson-browne-rock-and-roll-hall-of-famer-has-coronavirus-at-71/

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3/25/2020, 11:51 am Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
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Re: Coronavirus


That's a relief!

Why Trump won’t have the final say on whether people go back to work

By Amber Phillips
March 25, 2020

President Trump is increasingly making clear he wants to do what public health officials and a number of governors and mayors say is a bad idea: let people go back to work and gather in large crowds in the next few weeks.

Public health officials warn that the coronavirus is still rampaging — the World Health Organization says the United States could be its next epicenter — and that to relax social distancing now will overwhelm hospitals even more than they already are with the sick and dying.

Trump says he’s worried that the economic toll and its effects will be more devastating than the disease: “We can’t let the cure be worse than the disease.”

Trump is the most powerful figure in the U.S. coronavirus response, and a large swath of the country supports him and will stand by him no matter what. And his voice certainly will play a role in how seriously all Americans treat social distancing, since it’s difficult.

But he alone can’t push Americans back to work and restart the economy. That’s for three reasons:

1. Governors are the ones ordering people to stay at home. Already, 19 have ordered or announced that they’re about to order residents to stay at home, according to the nonpartisan National Governors Association. (See which states here.) Even Republican governors, like Greg Abbott in Texas, aren’t inclined to open up their economies now. “If the goal is to get the economy going, the best thing we can do to get the economy going is to get covid-19 behind us,” he said.

Trump doesn’t have the authority to make these governors do anything differently. As University of California at Davis law professor Elizabeth Joh wrote for Politico Magazine last week, the Supreme Court has long established precedent that states have the right to control their economies in the name of public health: “A community has the right to protect itself against an epidemic of disease which threatens the safety of its members,” she says the court wrote in 1905. “There is no ‘Go Back To Work Law,’” she tweeted on Tuesday.

States are bolstered by the 10th Amendment of the Constitution, which grants them “police power” to protect the health and safety of their residents. That means states can “establish and enforce laws protecting the welfare, safety, and health of the public,” separate from the federal government, according to Cornell Law School.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), who chairs the National Governors Association, on CNN on Monday resisted the idea of opening up his state’s economy anytime soon, saying: “We’re just trying to take the best advice we can from the scientists and all of the experts and making the decisions that we believe are necessary for our states. We don’t think that we’re going to be in any way ready to be out of this in five or six days or so.”

2. In many states, schools are closed. So are day-care centers and shops. So even if people want to get back to work, a lot wouldn’t be able to. Parents wouldn’t have child care, and governors in a number of states have ordered nonessential businesses closed, so workers in, say, a boutique wouldn’t be able to go back to work.

3. Trump’s request that people avoid groups of more than 10 was just that — a request. He made the social distancing request at the advice of health experts for a 15-day period, which ends March 30. But this was never a rule or law, just a set of guidelines.

Relaxing it will almost certainly lead to more people gathering in open spaces, perhaps in churches or bars and restaurants and beaches. If the president of the United States is okay with larger gatherings, why should they avoid them? But in a growing number of states, that will put them in direct conflict with local officials who urge them not to crowd.

Some are even policing it: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is going to require anyone coming into the state from New York or New Jersey to be quarantined for 14 days (to avoid the New York-to-Florida virus pipeline). New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) has directed his city to find a way to stop people from gathering in parks. Under the 10th Amendment, they can do that regardless of what Trump says.

In short, Trump’s guidance to America and how seriously he treats social distancing will certainly have an effect. But science and governors are moving in the opposite direction: more, not less, closing up.

https://tinyurl.com/uxy8hzk
3/25/2020, 12:54 pm Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
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Re: Coronavirus


Ah, that answers the question about police powers of the states. Thanks, Belle.

Our credit union is now starting a "skip a payment" program for all members. We always do it every December, but now we're doing it as an extended month-to-month program. Members can call in to ask for it, and the credit union staff fill out all of the forms; members can sign it in the drive-thru. The interest on the loan will still accrue for that month, but there are no penalties or fees for not paying that month. We can extend that payment forgiveness month-to-month for as long as it takes to get workers back to work with paychecks.

We're able to offer it for every kind of loan except for mortgage loans. Some federal law prohibits an extension of mortgage loans. Credit union and bank lobbyists have been trying to get that change made in the bill they're trying to pass. We'll see if it made it. I hope so, because mortgages are the biggest bill most households have every month.

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Lis

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3/25/2020, 2:46 pm Link to this post PM JustLis
 
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Re: Coronavirus


This is too cool!

Elton John to headline benefit concert amid coronavirus pandemic
By Sandra Gonzalez, CNN

Elton John wants to make sure America's medical professionals feel the love on Sunday night.

The superstar singer will host a benefit special, airing March 29 on Fox, that will pay tribute to front line health care workers and first responders amid the coronavirus pandemic and seek donations.

Performers for "Fox Presents the iHeart Living Room Concert for America" will include Alicia Keys, the Backstreet Boys, Billie Eilish, Billie Joe Armstrong, Mariah Carey and Tim McGraw.

All the artists will appear from their own homes and be "filmed with their personal cell phones, camera and audio equipment," according to a release from Fox.
Feeding America and First Responders Children's Foundation will benefit from proceeds raised.

The hour-long special will have no commercials and air at 9 p.m. ET and be broadcast on iHeartMedia radio stations as well.

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Peter

"When it comes to humility, I'm the greatest." - Bullwinkle Moose
3/25/2020, 6:28 pm Link to this post PM streamline2001
 
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Re: Coronavirus


Heard from a former HS classmate: apparently the Henry Ford hospital system in Detroit is operating at capacity, and they’re scrambling to bring in more beds for the patients who just keep coming.

Oops, forgot link:

https://www.fox2detroit.com/news/henry-ford-health-reaches-capacity-at-2-hospitals-for-covid-19-patients?fbclid=IwAR1MJhsEN1AZ7zNoXtDryZ_JN4SvmgcD-FHvZc_ylY8Tt9pJWNt1yvA3Fs8

Last edited by Birdz, 3/25/2020, 7:16 pm
3/25/2020, 7:15 pm Link to this post PM Birdz
 
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Re: Coronavirus


(NBC News) - 'Toilets are not trash cans': Americans coping with coronavirus are clogging toilets with wipes and T-shirts

A shortage of toilet paper stemming from coronavirus stockpiling has led some to resort to desperate measures when nature calls. There are reports of sewage systems and toilets clogging across the country as Americans are increasingly turning to baby wipes, paper towels, napkins and even ripped T-shirts as alternatives. The crisis has led the Environmental Protection Agency and Roto-Rooter, one of the nation’s biggest plumbing service providers, to issue “flushing rules.”

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Lis

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3/25/2020, 9:41 pm Link to this post PM JustLis
 
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Re: Coronavirus


Well, WRT TP, I got lucky. I placed an order with Amazon, fully expecting to not get any for weeks if not months. Then last week I included TP in the order I placed with Harris Teeter, again expecting to strike out.

Then I went to Wegmans and actually got TP.

Today I picked up the Harris Teeter order I placed last Thursday (their online order for pickup has gotten that popular). My TP request was filled.

I don’t have a garage full of TP, but I’m in good shape.

Now, if I could just get some disinfectant wipes.
3/25/2020, 10:52 pm Link to this post PM Birdz
 
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Re: Coronavirus


I guess those folks have never heard of garbage bags and cans.
3/26/2020, 12:46 am Link to this post PM CooterBrown44
 
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Re: Coronavirus


If you go down in the woods today, you'd better not go alone
It's lovely down in the woods today, but safer to stay at home


Still good advice.

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3/26/2020, 1:19 am Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
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Re: Coronavirus


The US is confronting coronavirus without the CDC. It's 'like fighting with one hand tied behind your back,' ex-director says.

quote:

The United States' response to the COVID-19 pandemic is haphazard, uncoordinated and sorely missing the guidance of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that agency's former director told USA TODAY on Tuesday.

And the "extraordinary" absence of the nation's lead public health agency at the forefront of the coronavirus fight makes Tom Frieden feel "less safe."

Now president of the nonprofit Resolve to Save Lives, Frieden advises other nations on how to organize against epidemics. He said global best practice is to designate one incident manager reporting to a health department official who then communicates to the head of state.

Same virus, different approach: These 5 maps show how states differ on protecting Americans against coronavirus

That's not how it's working in the U.S.

“We’ve heard that FEMA’s in charge. We’ve heard that the vice president’s in charge. We’ve heard that (U.S. Ambassador-at-Large) Dr. (Deborah) Birx is the coordinator. We’ve heard that (Health and Human Services Secretary Alex) Azar is in charge of the task force. Who’s on first here?” Frieden told USA TODAY’s Editorial Board on a video call.



Read more here.

This is no surprise to folks who aren't cult members and have paid attention to how this has been handled........or not. Trump has obliterated the groups in the administration who should have been on the front line, and not Trump or one of his political go boys.
3/26/2020, 1:58 pm Link to this post PM CooterBrown44
 
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Re: Coronavirus


OK. For the ones who said they'd like to see my newspaper article about cleaning tips to help avoid spreading the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, here it is:

Beyond Hand Washing:
Cleaning Tips To Help Prevent Spread of COVID-19


Mom was right, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirms it. Washing your hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and water can help prevent the spread of viral diseases such as COVID-19. But stopping the spread of viral infections also requires disinfecting surfaces that we touch every day at home, at work and in various public places.

According to the CDC, coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some of which already circulate among humans and cause various illnesses. The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is a “novel” (new) strain, however, for which we have not developed mass immunity or vaccines. COVID-19 can cause serious respiratory-illness symptoms, including fever, persistent cough and shortness of breath. Like other respiratory illnesses, COVID-19 seems to spread primarily through person-to-person exposure between people who are in close contact with one another (within about six feet). This virus also seems to remain stable on surfaces where people may become infected.

“The novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes,” explains Paige Dyjack, MPH, BSN, RN, an infection prevention nurse on the Infection Prevention Team at Washington Hospital. “It also is what we call a ‘sticky’ virus because it can adhere to surfaces and remain stable for varying periods of time.”

Some recent studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the CDC and other scientific organizations indicate the virus may be detected in “aerosol” particles suspended in the air for up to three hours. The virus also was detectable for up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard, and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel.

“It’s important to remember that these studies are preliminary,” Dyjack notes. “They do appear to indicate, however, that people can be infected by the virus via touching contaminated surfaces and then touching their eyes, noses or mouths. Porous surfaces such as cardboard or wood are harder to clean deeply, but disinfecting surfaces that you touch frequently can reduce your chances of becoming infected.”

Dyjack suggests keeping track of the surfaces you touch frequently, such as:
• tables, dressers, nightstands, TV sets and desktops
• doorknobs and handles on drawers and cupboards
• kitchen and bathroom countertops
• light switches
• toilet seats and handles
• kitchen and bathroom countertops
• refrigerator, oven and dishwasher handles
• sinks, faucets and water on-off handles
• pens, pencils, scissors, staplers and paper-clip or tape dispensers
• computer keyboards and mice, printers and remote controls
• calculators and thermostats
• telephones, including mobile phones
• personal-care utensils, combs, brushes, hairdryers and curling irons

“Other surfaces we touch often that may not readily come to mind include parts of cars or other vehicles – steering wheels, door handles, transmission or stick-shift knobs, sun visors, and electric switches for windows, mirrors and radios,” she adds. “You also should wipe down shopping cart handles, playground equipment and gas pumps before using them.”

There are a number of disinfectant and cleaning products that can be used on these hard surfaces, according to Dyjack.

“People often choose products containing bleach,” she says. “The good thing about bleach is that it kills everything, but the downside is that it is sometimes corrosive to some surfaces, and it isn’t always necessary.”

If you want wipes or solutions that contain bleach but can’t find them available in stores, the CDC offers guidelines for mixing your own bleach solutions:
• Mix 5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) with one gallon of water, or
• Mix 4 teaspoons with one quart (4 cups) of water.

“Many alcohol-based solutions also kill coronavirus, but they should be at least 70 percent alcohol,” Dyjack says. “Common rubbing alcohol can be used. Some people think disinfectant sprays to ‘sanitize’ the air are good to use, but that’s not really necessary since virus droplets are heavy and land on surfaces. If you have been shopping or visiting the bank or ATM, it might be a good idea to wipe off your credit or debit card. A wipe containing alcohol most likely would not harm the magnetic strip or chip on a card, but I wouldn’t necessarily use one that contains bleach. Alcohol wipes shouldn’t hurt phones or cell phones, either.”

Dyjack notes that if you have a person at home who is ill – especially with a fever – you may also want to wash clothes, sheets and towels more frequently.

“When doing laundry, use the hottest water that is safe for the fabric and be sure to dry laundry thoroughly, preferably on high heat if that won’t harm the fabric,” she recommends. “You might want to use disposable gloves to handle the sheets, towels and other laundry before loading them in the washer. Then wash your hands after taking off the gloves.”

Which brings us back to Dyjack’s hand-washing advice to supplement Mom’s:

“Using good old soap and water to scrub your hands vigorously for at least 20 seconds is actually still the best way to go,” she says. “The water doesn’t have to be really hot, either. In fact, we discourage really hot water because that dries out your skin and can cause cracking. Cracks in skin can create an entry to the body for the virus, so use hand cream or lotion after washing hands to prevent dry, cracked skin. Essential times for washing your hands are after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing or using the bathroom. You also should wash hands before preparing food or eating, as well as after contacting an animal or someone who is ill.

“If you work in close proximity to other people and realistically can’t wash your hands frequently, such as being a cashier in a grocery store, it is reasonable to wear rubber or vinyl gloves,” she adds. “Then make sure not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth until after you’ve washed your hands. Although COVID-19 could be more contagious than some other viral illnesses, if you maintain social-distancing practices, isolate yourself from people who are ill, and follow good hygiene practices, you can reduce your chances of infection.”

Learn More

For more information about COVID-19 and ways to prevent the spread of the disease, visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov.

For information from the NIH on coronavirus topics, including current research, visit www.nih.gov

For a list of cleaning and disinfecting products recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency, visit: www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2
This list is updated frequently as new products are tested or become available.
3/26/2020, 6:48 pm Link to this post PM MsSusieQueue
 
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Re: Coronavirus


Wow. What an excellent article! Thanks so much for this information, Susie. I'll be using it.

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Lis

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3/26/2020, 7:35 pm Link to this post PM JustLis
 
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Re: Coronavirus


(CNN) - Per capita, US outpaces China in coronavirus cases

The per-capita number of coronavirus cases in the US is almost four times that of China, based on most recent population estimates.

Based on CNN's count Thursday evening, the US now has 81,836 cases for a country with an estimated population of just over 328 million. That's about one case for every 4,010 people.

China's number is similar, 81,782, but for a country four times larger in population. Current United Nations estimates put China's population at over 1.4 billion. That's about one case for every 17,582 people.

China typically reports new nationwide case totals around 9 p.m. ET, so the comparison could soon change.



We're Number One!

I'll admit it. I'm tired of winning.

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Lis

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3/26/2020, 8:15 pm Link to this post PM JustLis
 
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Re: Coronavirus


(CNN) - James Dyson designed a new ventilator in 10 days. He's making 15,000 for the pandemic fight

Dyson has received an order from the UK government for 10,000 ventilators to support efforts by the country's National Health Service to treat coronavirus patients.

James Dyson, the company's billionaire founder, confirmed the order in a letter to employees shared with CNN on Wednesday.

"A ventilator supports a patient who is no longer able to maintain their own airways, but sadly there is currently a significant shortage, both in the UK and other countries around the world," Dyson wrote.

Dyson said the company had designed and built an entirely new ventilator, called the "CoVent," since he received a call 10 days ago from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

"This new device can be manufactured quickly, efficiently and at volume," Dyson added, saying that the new ventilator has been designed to "address the specific needs" of coronavirus patients.

A spokesperson for the company, which is best known for its vacuum cleaners and hand dryers, said the ventilators would be ready by early April. Dyson, who has wealth worth $10 billion according to Bloomberg, wrote in his letter that he would also donate 5,000 units to the international effort to tackle the pandemic.

"The core challenge was how to design and deliver a new, sophisticated medical product in volume and in an extremely short space of time," he added. "The race is now on to get it into production."


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Lis

Just one voice.... Singing in the darkness....
3/26/2020, 8:22 pm Link to this post PM JustLis
 
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Re: Coronavirus


Very informative piece, Susie. Nicely done -- but we all knew it would be.

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Robbie
3/26/2020, 9:11 pm Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
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Re: Coronavirus


Thanks, Sueie!
3/26/2020, 9:57 pm Link to this post PM CooterBrown44
 
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Re: Coronavirus


Thanks, Susie.
3/27/2020, 9:27 am Link to this post PM bricklayer
 
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Re: Coronavirus


I read this morning that Boris Johnson tested positive and has mild symptoms.
3/27/2020, 9:29 am Link to this post PM bricklayer
 


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